Zimbabwe’s First Anime Convention: A Dream Come True for Otakus

If you are a fan of anime, manga and Japanese culture, you probably know the feeling of excitement and joy that comes with attending an anime convention. That’s how I would like to start this post, except very few of us actually know how that feels. While they are a few events locally that have appreciated various fandoms including anime and manga, we have yet to get a full day anime convention. The ability to be at an event where you get to meet other people who share your passion, watch your favorite shows and movies, dress up as your favorite characters, buy merchandise and artwork, learn new skills and have fun.

Being a person who lives in Zimbabwe, what you know most is the frustration and disappointment of not having any anime conventions in our country. You have to watch online videos or read blogs of other people’s experiences, or travel to other countries if you can afford it, to enjoy what other otakus take for granted. The other alternative is travelling to other countries around us that have been having conventions; South Africa or Zambia to name a few.

Well, not anymore. Because this year, Zimbabwe will host its first ever anime convention, thanks to the efforts of Otaku Konnect, a group of dedicated and enthusiastic fans who decided to make their dream a reality. The idea behind creating this anime convention for Zimbabwe is to increase events that Zimbabwean Otaku can attend and grow the community.

The convention, which is called Otakukon, will take place on 13 August 2023 at Reps Theatre in Belgravia, Harare. The first Otakukon will be a one-day, 8 hour event that will feature a variety of activities and attractions for anime and manga lovers of all ages and backgrounds.

Some of the highlights of the convention include:

  • Panels and workshops with local, such as voice actors, cosplayers, artists, writers and experts on various topics related to anime and manga.
  • Anime screenings, where you can watch the latest and classic anime titles on a big screen,
  • Cosplay competitions, where you can showcase your costumes and performances on stage, or admire the amazing outfits and talents of other cosplayers.
  • Artist alley and vendor hall, where you can buy or sell original artwork, prints, comics, crafts, clothing, accessories, figurines and other merchandise related to anime and manga.
  • Gaming tournaments and karaoke, where you can challenge your friends or strangers to various video games or sing along to your favorite anime songs.
  • And much more!

The convention is open to every Zimbabwean who loves anime and manga, whether you are a casual fan or a hardcore otaku. You don’t need to be an expert or a veteran to enjoy the convention. You just need to bring your enthusiasm and curiosity.

Anime in Zimbabwe has been seen to be growing, especially through the mushrooming of anime merch sellers in the past two years with more than 5 different merch sellers coming to the fore. Top of mind with anime merch is Otaku Peddler who focus on embroidered hoodies and sweaters and have branched into figurines and cosplay; AnimaniacZw who are most know for their accessories collection of rings, necklaces and bracelets while also doing cosplay; New leaf (formerly Atlas Gratis) who provide accessories, socks and other unique merch; and a few more (we should just make it a blog post).

Ticket prices will be shared in the following month and can be purchased online or at the door. However, if you buy them online in advance, you can get a discount and avoid long queues. You can also get special perks if you buy a VIP ticket or volunteer as a staff member.

For more information about the convention, follow us on social media at @Otakukonnect which we use for Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. You can also contact us by email at info@otakukon.com.

Outside of Otakukon 2023, we will be hosting smaller bi-monthly events targeting certain segments of our anime and manga fandoms. The first of these mini-conventions is Anime, Merch & Nakama and as the name suggests, the idea behind it is to watch anime together, give attendees access to merch and make new friends.

Anime convention in Zimbabwe
The second installment of our mini-con comes this June

We hope to see you at Zimbabwe’s first anime convention. It will be an unforgettable experience that you don’t want to miss!

2 thoughts on “Zimbabwe’s First Anime Convention: A Dream Come True for Otakus”

  1. Pingback: The Rise of Zimbabwean Comic Books - Otakukon

  2. Pingback: Attending Your First Anime Convention in Zimbabwe: Do's and Don'ts - OTAKUKON Anime Convention Zimbabwe

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